Former State Management and Reforms Minister Naveen Dissanayake who crossed over to the opposition today challenged the government to reveal within 24 hours the contents of his file if there was one and if it contained any details of corrupt deals.
Mr. Dissanayake posed this challenge during a news conference held at the United National Party (UNP) headquarters Sirikotha last afternoon.
He said he his first priority was to extend his support to the common opposition candidate and would later decide on whether to obtain UNP membership and on the direction of his future political journey.
Mr. Dissanayake was welcomed by UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa and several other MPs Mr. Premadasa said Mr. Dissanayake and himself have something common because they both followed the policies of their late fathers. (Yohan Perera and Sanath Desmond)
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Video: I was offered Rs.100 Mn to stay in Govt: Navin
Nuwara-Eliya District MP Navin Dissanayake, who resigned from his portfolio and joined the UNP, said he was offered a cash inducement of Rs.100 million to stay with the government after his plan to quit it was sensed by some elements.
“I had by then spoken to common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena and pledged my support to him. Therefore, I did not want to go back on my word. In politics, we have to take decisions at the appropriate time, be it productive or not. Mr. Sirisena fought for pictorial warnings on tobacco packets. He came under immense pressure from those companies. But, he remained resilient and could not be lured by cash inducements,” Mr. Dissanayake said. (Kelum Bandara)
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“I Was Offered Rs. 100 Million To Stay In Government” : Navin
In an interesting revelation, MP Navin Dissanayake, who joined the opposition yesterday, said he was offered 100 million to stay in the Government.
“The government cannot buy me over, I had already made a promise to Maithripala Siresena and I acted on that,” Dissanayake said addressing a press conference in Colombo. Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP National leader Ranil Wickremesinghe sat alongside the former Minister who sent his letter of resignation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday.
“The government is looting funds received from China for road development. We need a country that is free of corruption,” Dissanayake said saying he could not speak about the corruption on the part of the government when he was a Cabinet Minister. This was the second press conference Dissanayake addressed after his defection from the government.
“Maithripala and Ranil Wickremesinghe were clean politicians and they were never accused of corruption,” Dissanayake added.
It was Maithripala Sirisena who acted as Minister of Defence when the President was abroad during the final phase of war and he would never act as a puppet of the Western world,” the former Minister said responding to the allegations that have been leveled against the common candidate by the government.
He also stated that India and the US assisted Sri Lanka in eradicating terrorism and they had no reason to conspire against the country.
Commenting on Navin Dissanayake’s move, the common candidate said, Dissanayake’s father, the late Gamini Dissanayake, was a leader whom he always admired.
“Navin Dissanayake is a great strength to the common opposition,” Maithripala Sirisena said.
When asked about his symbol for the presidential election, the common candidate told journalists that the symbol of his party would be revealed shortly.